For N’s birthday back in September, I bought him the gift of… foraging.
As a keen cook and lover of all things a little out-of-the-ordinary, the gift of a ‘Forage and Feast‘ experience day seemed perfect.
Somewhat concerned about the hideous November weather, when the day finally arrived we dressed for the worst; wellies and wind-breakers included. But after we dropped Pepper off at Doggy Daycare and headed down to the Fat Hen headquarters near Penzance, we realised how lucky we were.
The weather was gorgeous! Okay, so it was extremely windy, but we certainly hadn’t expected the sun to come out for this one day amongst weeks of miserable grey clouds.
After a quick introduction to the rest of our foraging group in the Fat Hen barns, we were shipped over to Prussia Cove for an incredible coastal walk.
Caroline (the brains behind Fat Hen) and trusty sidekick, Molly, headed up the walk, stopping and pointing out edible plants and berries as we went. And yes, the occasional mushroom too (we didn’t eat these along the way, unlike the other plants, but instead popped them into our baskets to look at back at the farm).
Yes, some of us got a little distracted along the way…but look at that view of Penzance and St. Michael’s Mount! And of course, I was a designated basket-carrier.
PS. Did you know you could eat Gorse flowers? I didn’t!
I’ve never had the opportunity to explore Prussia Cove before, being more of a North Coast kinda gal, but wow is it stunning! I will definitely be coming back for more soon, and I imagine it’s beautiful in Spring.
And who knew the cliffs would be such a perfect place to find and forage for delicious edible plants? We enjoyed the likes of Sorrel, Wild Spinach, Cow Parsley (not to be confused with Hemlock!!), Wild Cabbage and Alexander.
Towards the end of the walk, we clambered down to a secluded beach, where Caroline showed us the best types of seaweed to use in cooking.
What I learned about seaweed:
- Of all 300~ seaweed species in the world, only something like 4 types aren’t edible, and they’re all found on the seabed SO, you can basically eat any seaweed you find at the beach.
- Some types are tastier than others, so you probably want to research it first.
- Some types of seaweed taste like garlic, and they make awesome flavourings!
- Only pick and eat seaweed that’s still attached to rocks; you don’t want the stuff lying along the shoreline as God knows how long that’s been there.
- Check that the beach you’re going to isn’t polluted, or nearby any sewage outlets, because if you eat seaweed from those beaches it will not end well.
After we’d completed our 3 hour trek across the cliffs, and had collected a decent amount of foraged food, we went back to the Fat Hen barns, greeted by warm homemade Focaccia bread and the starter course of our meal (pre-foraged…yes, that is now a word).
Once our bellies were part-filled, we were taught how to make seaweed pasta (that is what those green strings are hanging up in the photos!) amongst other things, and N may or may not have learnt how to butcher a rabbit…
Wine in hand, we then stood by as the Fat Hen team finished cooking our main course, before we all sat down to eat again.
The food was delicious, and included some of the ingredients we had foraged earlier that day, but unfortunately I was simply too busy enjoying it to take any photos (this is now becoming a bit of a habit…).